Well there was a so-called WinMo 7 leak, the other week. I didn’t get around to posting about it until now. So here’s my thoughts on it.
Based on what I see, WinMo 7 really looks impressive. Not just another small WinMo update with just some small features. But some new radical features. Things like:
- Emphasis on touch and motion gestures
- New swifter mobile IE, that’s not as cumbersome looking, and even as tabbed browsing
- Incorporating ‘smart’ features, where the phone itself can guess what users actually want when doing an action
- Pivot system in some areas (think Media Center-like or Zune device UI)
- Magnifying screen areas – a little balloon will show the tiny area you want to better see small things
So yeah, these are pretty impressive. Now some people will say that this is just the copy of the iPhone, or that the iPhone wouldn’t have made Microsoft even go with this stuff. That is, if this stuff is real.
But unlike where a lot of Apple fans always will say that Microsoft just copies anything, I would have to disagree with some points. One, this ‘copy’ has a few things the iPhone doesn’t.
- iPhone mainly does touch gestures – WinMo is working on trying to touch AND motion gestures. Motion gestures as in waving around the screen/camera, moving the device itself, and who knows what. With the iPhone, you’re just moving your fingers along the screen. And the only multi-touch feature I’ve seen is magnifying photos.
- WinMo is more like a mini version of Windows – Not just media and the internet. Like the iPhone caters to. WinMo 7 is designed to do those better as well with Office Mobile, and work with a ton of other add-ons that you aren’t even allowed with the iPhone.
- Works along with many types of phones – Apple might have the upperhand with only having to work with itself. But WinMo 7 is now designed to be better poised to work on multiple types of hardware phones, and that’s 10X tougher to deal with. Now if only Vista were designed to work better across other types of hardware…
- Cheaper – WinMo phones are usually cheaper, yet do a lot more. And if it looks rougher to you, than the iPhone, just find some skins and download them. Great to have an OS that support add-ons, right? Some have better cameras, some with great hardware, etc.
So there. WinMo has always been a great platform. iPhone is also great, because it sort of redid the concept of what a mobile phone can do, and how it does it. Which is why it’s so popular in pop culture these days. I wouldn’t say it’s an innovation, but more like putting a new face on what’s been done for years. It’s great to have competition.
And maybe the iPhone did have something to do with Microsoft’s new WinMo 7, depending if these really are real, and if it did, does it matter? Just another example of competition doing great things for consumers. Who cares who copies who? Apple’s copied tons of times before, and it doesn’t really matter, does it? It’s just who does what better that matters.
So putting that aside, I have my doubts if these screenshots are the real deal.
I mean those ideas Nathan Weinberg told about, and ‘some’ of the screenshots sound really amazing. If this were the real WinMo 7, I would love it. But…
Looking at the screenshots shows it’s really hard to believe that. Some have a really nice shiny UI looks, with a glassy orb in the center bottom. BUT, some of the other screenshots don’t have that orb thing. Or any orb at all. And where the connection signal and battery level are short at the bottom, other’s show them still at the top. Weird, right? And some of the graphics that show off the ‘gestures’ you can do with WinMo 7 look janky than they ought to be. Though considering this is just a rough beginning look, not too hard to consider. So this could be another one of those Photoshopped photos of future UI’s that might be juicy to some people.
I also thought WinMo 7 was a MINOR update to WinMo 6, just with a way better internet browser, and better media tools. Not something as advanced at this. That’s suppose to be WinMo 8 if this stuff is real. OR WinMo 8 will even be more revolutionary than this, and that means Microsoft is really cracking the ball and doing some hard work to make their platform better. OR another possibility if that we’re just looking at rough sections of what’s really WinMo 8, and WinMo 7 is either in final development or ready to ship soon this year to be ahead. Who knows?
So I’m still having doubts, but at the same time I hope Microsoft really is doing what leaks Nathan discovered.
So here’s a possible look at WinMo 7. Here are some screenshots I picked up.